Kid Hit Menu Items: Brent’s Deli hardly poses a challenge for finding stuff that everyone wants to eat. There’s not an isolated kids menu, but the PBnJ, chicken fingers, and grilled cheese are noted as being great for kids if that’s what you need. Or feed them some soup, and turkey or pastrami bits. What also makes Brent’s special in part are the extensive French fry offerings, with steak, curly, skinny, and sweet potato all listed as separate options.
Adult Perks: Brent’s has a typically huge, multi-page menu. We appreciated the substantial but not unwieldy oversized sandwiches that people have come to expect of delis. The house-made kishka is a stand-out, or so I’ve been told. Alternately, chose from the “Health Conscious Plates,” meaning a lot of cottage cheese, no breads, leaner or plain proteins. But if you really want non-artery-clogging-or-high-blood-pressure-causing food, just go somewhere else that’s NOT a deli.
Pros: Brent’s is your classic big, loud suburban twentieth century American deli with all its beautiful controlled chaos. This deep Valley deli offers all the comforts of the home-away-from-home hamisheh restaurants we know and love: a mirrored spinning cake case, Naugahyde booths, a lot of dark wood surfaces (many not made from actual trees) and other shades of brown/beige, and a busy cashier by the entrance. Ah, the early thrill of being given the responsibility of paying the family check! Such an important rite of passage for Jewish children. Plus there are custom-printed covered plastic cups for kids. (The Stovepiper next door looks amazing, too.)
Cons: Even on a late Saturday afternoon we had to wait about 20 minutes. But such is deli life. Many of my earliest memories are waiting for tables at delis. (And feeling mortified when I held a stranger’s hand at Junior’s…but that’s another story.)Note Joya Cherry Marshmallow Twists are in the cake case — available not just for Pasover!
Changing Station: Yes
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Surface mini-mall parking lot.
Other Tidbits: If it weren’t for family friends in Northridge, the 91324 ZIP code would be complete terra incognita. So recently we had to right a wrong and finally try the highly praised Brent’s Deli. Deli crusader David Sax himself mentioned Brent’s — and its kishka in particular — as being among the city’s best when I interviewed him last year. (We saved that dish for another visit.) Our big corner table filled up with the bomb ass overflowing matzo ball soup with carrots and noodles, pastrami sandwich, kosher and half-sour pickles, fries, Dr. Brown’s, crusty rye bread, etc. Even if we don’t go to delis as often as I did as a kid, Taster Tots will be covering many more delis, since they’re a perennially family-friendly favorite restaurant genre.“Is that fish broken?”
19565 Parthenia Street, Northridge
Hours: Daily 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.